Jiake Liu (Outer) – How Outer Became The Fastest Growing DNVB In The US, His Approach to Showrooms, and Why You Can’t Rely On “Build It and They Will Come”

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I’d like to thank Adelle Archer for introducing me to today’s guest, Jiake Lu, CEO of Outer. Outer is an extraordinary company that is reengineering outdoor furniture. Business Insider named them the #1 fastest growing DTC brands. I chat with Jiake about how he went from founding a B2B business to B2C, his really unique showroom strategy.

Feel free to follow him on Twitter @jiakeliu. You can also follow your host, Mike, on Twitter @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcements @consumervc.

One book that inspired Jiake is Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

Here’s what we cover –

  1. His attraction to enterpreunorship and software. Learnings from starting ProspectWise and why he started Outer. How did he realize the insight that folks weren’t using their outdoor furniture? What was his product innovation? How did he turn this into a brand rather than being a wholesaler?
  2. His unique distribution strategy and how he thought about show rooms? His launch strategy when they premiered May 2019? The competitive landscape in outdoor furniture?
  3. His initial growth strategy? Why did he you need to fundraise? The hardest part about fundraising or element of his business that it was hardest for investors to understand? Some of the effects of COVID on his business?
  4. What’s one thing that he would change when it came to fundraising? One piece of advice for DNVB companies?

This episode is brought to you by Crunchfirm : a full-stack finance, accounting & CFO advisory partner focused exclusively on VC backed startups. Listeners get the first month free of their services, by emailing hello@crunchfirm.com.

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